Jealous Much? Tools to Tame Envy

Jealousy is one of those emotions we think is bad. Right? Well, no. It’s an emotion and as such is neither good nor bad, right not wrong. But the framing of it tends to dictate actions.


What is jealousy?

Jealousy is the belief that someone else has something that you want. Sometimes when we are truly green with envy we become angry – the boundary of justice being collated comes into play because we think that someone else has something that is rightfully ours. And if it is meant to be ours and ours alone, anger may turn to rage. That’s the story of jealousy – the decision that because someone has something, we can not.

We often think of jealousy in terms of romantic relationships – like when we think someone is cheating. Again, this is the belief that someone has something that is meant for me and me alone. This form of jealousy is paired with a crisis of trust and as a resilt it shows up whether or not the cheating did or didn’t happen.

But jealousy also shows up at work… when someone is promoted and you wanted that promotion… Or with friends or peers… When everyone else is pregnant but you’re struggling with infertility… And complete strangers… that movie plot was totally my idea!

When jealousy goes unchecked…

When the story of jealousy spins up we may discover rage, resentment, resignation. It disconnects us from the very thing we want the most.

When we want a relationship, jealousy inhibits intimacy.  When we want growth and progress, jealousy creates stagnation. When we want care and support, jealousy prevents  empathy and emotional availability.

What is jealousy trying to tell us?

Jealousy is simply a roadmap to our deepest desires. It’s a reminder to be thankful for a great love we feel or a deep desire – something that we really want. It may be pointing a way to our path. When we pay attention to the message of jealousy we can find clarify, direction and motivation.

Reframing jealousy:

The key to reframing jealousy is to rewrite the story from a lens of scarcity (someone has something that you want and now you can’t have it) to a lens of abundance (someone has something and you realize you want that too – and you can). This turns envy into inspiration! If you’re jealous of someone else’s success, abundance mindset reveals success is available to us all! Perhaps the person you envy is just a few steps ahead of you and could be a mentor!

If the jealousy shows up because of infidelity, abundance mindset tells us that why we want is a loving relationship built on trust and respect and partnership. Perhaps that love and respect we most desire is not intended to be with that person. Or, if it is, it can only be through forgiveness and a recommitment.


Jealousy is the belief that someone has something that you want…

  • How are you thinking through a lens of scarcity?
  • How is this disconnecting you from your heart’s desire?
  • How can you shift to an abundance mindset and discover what is it that you want and that is available in abundance?
  • What actions, requests or offers must you take to go after your heart’s desire?

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